Public can relive Limerick's past as National Library digitises glass plate negatives

Public can relive Limerick's past as National Library digitises glass plate negatives

A bustling George's Street in the city before it was renamed O’Connell Street

IN STRANGE times it can be easier to look back than live in the moment. There is solace in reflecting in simpler times. 

For some escapism and education, the National Library of Ireland has the perfect solution. In 2007, they initiated a major project to digitise its collections of glass plate negatives.

Since then, more than 60,000 images of Ireland and Irish life have been made available online. With photographs drawn from a range of historic collections, the online catalogue offers viewers unique insights into life across the island from the middle of the 19th century up to the late 20th century.

It is called Around the Island. The library is inviting Limerick people, and everyone with an interest in the county, to explore these images. It encourages people across the island of Ireland to connect and reconnect with their counties and their history by accessing local photographs that are readily available through the library’s rich and varied online collections.

Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins said: “As Ireland’s memory-keeper, the National Library collects, preserves and shares the record of life in Ireland. This includes photographs of everyday local life just as much as major moments in our national history.”

She continues: “Together, these images give a varied picture of Irish life through the last 170 years. Through Around the Island, we hope people will engage with their local history using the library’s online catalogue, and perhaps see their locality and its history in a new light.”

The catalogue can be accessed here.

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